Capitals

Hoke, Dantonio speak at clinic for HS coaches

Hoke, Dantonio speak at clinic for HS coaches

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) Andrew Maxwell is still Michigan State's No. 1 quarterback. Michigan punter Will Hagerup remains suspended.

Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio and Michigan's Brady Hoke spoke Friday in separate hour-long presentations at a clinic for the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association. They both talked to reporters for a bit, as well, but didn't have any major news as the offseason begins.

Maxwell was Dantonio's starter this season, but he ended up splitting time in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl with Connor Cook, and it was Cook who led a drive to the winning field goal in that game.

``I will say this: Andrew Maxwell's still our No. 1 quarterback,'' Dantonio said. ``He's been in our program for four years. He understands what to do, he needs to do things better at certain times, and that's where I stand on it.''

Dantonio didn't want to look too far ahead to spring practice, and Hoke wasn't particularly forthcoming, either. When asked about Hagerup, who was suspended last month for a violation of team rules, Hoke simply said: ``Still suspended.'' He repeated that response when asked if Hagerup was still on the team.

Cornerback Blake Countess, who went down with a season-ending knee injury in Michigan's opener against Alabama, may be able to participate in spring practice to some degree.

``We'll see. He may be able to do some stuff,'' Hoke said. ``He's getting along well.''

Last year at this event, Dantonio was involved in a mini-flap when he reportedly interrupted Michigan recruiting coordinator Jeff Hecklinski during Hecklinski's presentation. Dantonio said at the time he didn't know how the format would work.

``I didn't want it to become a recruiting presentation,'' he told the Detroit Free Press at the time.

Hoke said Friday that the situation ``wasn't a big deal.'' This year, Hoke made his presentation then Dantonio began his about a half-hour after Hoke finished.

During his speech, Dantonio said he lets his players evaluate him anonymously on a number of traits.

``They're always down on my sense of humor,'' Dantonio said. ``But if you were here last year, you know I've got one, right?''

Dantonio told reporters Friday he regretted last year's incident immediately.

Michigan went 8-5 this past season, and Michigan State was 7-6. Hoke spent much of his presentation focusing on how he prepares his team during the week for a game. Dantonio went through a list of ``24 Thoughts/Things To Do'' and also showed film of some practice drills.

There were light moments, such as when Dantonio talked about an attempt to entertain his players.

``Are they having fun? That's important, to make sure that they're having fun,'' Dantonio said. ``So don't take yourself so seriously. Down in Arizona, I rode a horse out to practice.''

Hoke wrapped up his expose with a calm but harsh assessment of Michigan's season.

``Bad year, to be honest with you,'' Hoke said after initially using a less printable adjective. ``Eight games, that's not good enough. That's not good enough. Proud of the kids, extremely proud how they kept moving forward, but it wasn't the year that Michigan deserves.''

Quick Links

10 changes that would make the NHL better

usatsi_10788321.jpg
USA TODAY Sports

10 changes that would make the NHL better

Hockey is one of the most incredible, compelling sports in the world. As fun as it is to watch on TV, it is even more compelling in person and fans in North America are treated to the best hockey in the world as played in the NHL.

But the NHL's not perfect.

SEE THE 10 CHANGES THAT WOULD MAKE THE NHL BETTER HERE

Just like every sports league, the NHL is always adjusting and making changes to the game in order to improve it through things like rule changes, expansion, playoff formats, etc.

No sport is perfect and hockey is not without its flaws, but there are a number of clear changes that could be made that would improve both the game and the league.

 SEE THE 10 CHANGES THAT WOULD MAKE THE NHL BETTER HERE

Quick Links

Nats put Scherzer-Strasburg scuffle aside to split Braves series

stephen-strasburg-nationals.jpg
USA TODAY Sports

Nats put Scherzer-Strasburg scuffle aside to split Braves series

Bryce Harper homered, Max Scherzer struck out seven in six innings and the Washington Nationals beat the Atlanta Braves 6-2 on Sunday.

Anthony Rendon also had two hits and drove in two runs for Washington, extending his hitting streak to 10 games and helping the Nationals earn a split of the series after Saturday's game was rained out. Adam Eaton and Juan Soto each had three hits.

Two days after a heated exchange with teammate Stephen Strasburg during Friday's 8-5 loss, Scherzer (13-5) allowed two runs and eight hits in his third straight win. The three-time Cy Young Award winner has pitched six or more innings in his last 19 starts.

Kelvin Herrera got five outs for his first save with Washington.

The start of the game was delayed 1 hour, 55 minutes by rain, and another downpour stopped play for almost 100 minutes between the sixth and seventh innings.

Atlanta's Mike Foltynewicz (7-6) gave up four runs and nine hits over 5 2/3 innings.

Harper singled in Eaton to give Washington a 4-2 lead in the sixth. Matt Adams added another RBI single in the seventh, and Harper added a solo drive in the eighth for his 24th homer.

Scherzer was staked to an early 3-0 lead and then got some help from his defense.

Atlanta rookie Ronald Acuna Jr. led off the third with a drive off the wall in center, but he was thrown out by Harper while trying for a double. With a runner on first in the fifth, Freddie Freeman's blast to right was chased down by Eaton on the warning track.

Then in the seventh, Michael A. Taylor made a leaping catch at the wall in center to rob Dansby Swanson of extra bases with one runner on.

Washington got off to a fast start with three runs in the first. Rendon drove in Eaton and Harper with a triple down the right-field line, and then scored on Soto's groundout.

Swanson drove in Atlanta's runs with a groundout in the second and a single in the fourth.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Braves: All-Star 2B Ozzie Albies, who left Friday's game with right hamstring tightness, got the day off.

Nationals: RHP Sean Doolittle (left toe inflammation) experienced extended soreness after throwing off the mound Friday. An MRI Saturday revealed a stress reaction, comparable to a bone bruise, in the bridge of his foot and he is wearing a walking boot. ... RHP Koda Glover (right shoulder tendinitis) was reinstated from the 60-day DL and optioned to Triple-A Syracuse.

UP NEXT

Braves: LHP Sean Newcomb (8-5, 3.51 ERA) pitches the opener of a two-game series in Miami on Monday. He already has beaten the Marlins twice this season, allowing one run in 12 innings.

Nationals: LHP Gio Gonzalez (6-6, 3.72 ERA) opens a three-game series in Milwaukee on Monday night. He is 2-4 with a 4.93 ERA in nine career starts versus the Brewers.